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Friday, December 26, 2014

How to make a screenshot with Paint or Irfanview

If you are describing something involving the computer screen as when you are doing a post or you are asking for assistance at the Blogger Help Forum, it helps greatly to explain what you want to explain with the help of a screenshot.

One widely available software is MS Paint which is available among Accessories in all computer running the Windows OS. At the screen where you want to take a screenshot, press the Print Screen (PrntScn) key to copy image into Clipboard. Open Paint, then click the down arrow below Paste and select Paste (see screenshot below):
MS Paint, Paste from Clipboard option
MS Paint, Paste from Clipboard option

Whatever was in the former screen at which you clicked PrintScreen will appear in Paint. Save and it is done if you want the whole screen. However, if you want only part of it, then you should crop.

To crop, click the  down arrow at SELECT icon and select the shape you want - Rectangular or Free Form:
MS Paint, Select Shape
MS Paint, Select Shape

Then click the CROP icon MS Paint Crop icon

Save and it is done.

You can also easily do screenshots with the free Irfanview photo editor. Note that I like to use both PC Paint as well as Irfanview. This is because certain things which cannot be done with one can be done with the other, and vice versa.

For example, you can draw lines and shape with MS Paint to highlight certain part of the screenshot, but you can't do that with Irfanview. But if you want your screenshot to include the mouse cursor, it cannot be done with MS Paint, but it can be down with Irfanview.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

OCR Optical Character Recognition software

When you have an image file with characters (alphabets), it may be useful to convert the image to a text file. You can do this by using OCR (Optical Character Recognition) software. There are both online OCR and also those you have to download and install into your computer. The former is more convenient.

I have found one particular online OCR which
. supports 46 languages including Chinese, Japanese and Korean
. convert scanned PDF to MS WORD
. extract text from PDF and images (jpg, bmp, tiff, gif) and convert to editable WORD, Excel, Text formats.

Just upload image file from your computer, select language and output format, complete a CAPTCHA to prove you are human, click CONVERT.

It was amazingly accurate with no mistakes that needs to be corrected other than when there are formatting columns, some may be jumbled up and you have to reorganize. I am saving here so I can get back to that online OCR service when needed.

This online OCR is